There's again war in the Middle East, and where's war, there's displaced people who seek asylum. But it seems the neighboring countries are struggling with refugees from the previous one.

According to this article, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration has forcibly deported hundreds of Syrian refugees since late 2022, while his primary challenger, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has vowed to send all Syrian refugees back to their country of origin in under two years, regardless of circumstances in Syria.

It seems the situation is similar in Lebanon. Had there been any recent initiative, by the UN or the EU or anyone in case the situation worsens (either in Syria or Gaza) to help the displaced people?

  • 6
    I think the question is based on very poor knowledge of the conflict in question. It is hard to flee from Gaza, and, even if all the Gazans decided to flee, their number would be less than the number of Syrian refugees at the height of the war in Syria (the population of Gaza is only two millions.) There are hundreds of thousands of "Palestinian refugees" living in Lebanon - but these are actually descendants of the refugees, who are classed as refugees, because they have no path to Lebanese citizenship.
    – Roger V.
    Oct 30 at 13:29
  • @RogerV. i was thinking of the Rafah crossing. edition.cnn.com/2023/10/13/middleeast/… so youre saying that compared to the numbers of Syrian refugees the Gazan ones are relatively small and therefore easier to assist? Oct 30 at 13:33
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    This conflict is not just Jews vs. Muslims/Arabs, as it is often pictured in popular media. Hamas is associated with Muslim brotherhood, which is an enemy of the military dictatorship in Egypt (and neither of which is aiming for the rule of democracy and human rights.) So influx of armed Hamas fighters can create quite a few problems in Egypt. You may be interested to read about the Black September, when Palestinians tried to overthrow the Jordanian King.
    – Roger V.
    Oct 30 at 13:39
  • Or some Palestinian celebrating in Kuwait 1991 when Saddam invaded. A big factor is also precedents and future: would Israel offer credible guarantees that displaced Gazans can go home after the war? Lots of stranded expelled Palestinians already in neighboring countries that, even if they did not have issues with their behavior, they would worry about being complicit with more "population transfers" by Israel. Finally, the region is already fairly saturated with refugees. Oct 30 at 17:13
  • 1
    No, I think you misunderstand at least one aspect: many of the neighbors would also consider that complicity in ethnic cleansing because they would be taking in people they have reasons to suspect could never return. Oct 30 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


As of today, according to a CNN report, Egypt rejected to accept Palestinian refugees into the Sinai peninsula:

Egyptian PM rejects call for Palestinian refugees in Sinai The prime minister of Egypt has rejected any plans for people displaced from Gaza to be mass-relocated into Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

Local media in Israel has reported that some Israeli officials want to relocate civilians from Gaza into north-eastern Egypt.

But, during a visit to North Sinai, Mostafa Madbouly says no regional conflict should be resolved at the expense of Egypt.

As a reminder, with Israel's crossings into Gaza closed, the Egypt-controlled Rafah crossing is the only potential way for civilians to leave Gaza. (CNN)

The Wall Street Journal reports an even more direct refusal:

Amid rising pressure on Egypt to admit Palestinian refugees, the country's prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, said it remained committed to protecting its land and sovereignty regardless of the cost.

"We are prepared to sacrifice millions of lives to ensure that no one encroaches upon our territory,” Madbouly told a gathering in Sinai of military leaders, local tribal leaders, members of parliament and other politicians. The prime minister said Egypt would never allow any imposed situation or the settlement of regional issues at its expense.

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